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Plant Materials Program Steward

New York’s Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park is seeking an enthusiastic technician for the 2023 season. Apply to be a SCA New York State Parks Corps member today!
Purpose of the Position: The OPRHP Plant Materials Program provides sustainable, genetically appropriate native plant materials (NPMs) to support ecological stewardship throughout New York State Parks through consultation, collection, and propagation.

Community Needs that the Position Serves: 
  • Native Plant Materials for Ecological Restoration - Ecological restoration using native plant materials supports critical ecosystem functions, reduces impacts from extreme weather events & climate change, and reduces the impact of overuse in Parks- all benefiting the local community.
  • Environmental Education - The PMC is open to the public with signage and tours to interpret the program and projects; staff & SCA work with volunteers to connect patrons to environmental stewardship. 

AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities: 
  • Implement propagation protocols for a range of native plant species
  • Propagate native plant species from various materials including cuttings, seeds, and divisions. Typical work will include:
  • Preparing soil mixes, sowing flats, watering, propagating, transplanting, and maintaining clean production space.
  • Controlling greenhouse pests and implementing best IPM practices.
  • Follow Plant Materials Program Protocols to:
  • Clean, weigh, and label seed collections.
  • Process seed for stratification, propagation and/or storage.
  • Work together with coworkers and volunteers to accomplish project work.
  • Communicate effectively with park workers and patrons in a positive manner.
  • Work independently and perform frequent check-ins with supervisor

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization: The Plant Materials Program Steward will be managed by the Plant Materials Program Coordinator. Their daily work will be directly supervised by the Plant Materials Program Nursery Technician, and they will work alongside program staff to assist in the production of plant materials towards a variety of environmental stewardship projects across New York State Parks. They will be trained in native plant materials propagation techniques (up-potting, fertilizing, manual pest control, and daily greenhouse maintenance) and processing techniques (seed cleaning, moisture control, stratification, and seed banking). This position will support production of 40,000+ plants and require seed processing of 20+ species. The technician will work closely with volunteers to support greenhouse functioning. They will also be responsible for positive and effective communication and interpretation to patrons and volunteers.

About the NYS Parks Corps: Service activities range from providing environmental education and interpretation, to trail restoration, wildlife management, and organizing volunteer events. All 21 Parks Corps members will gather regularly in Central NY for SCA trainings and other professional development opportunities as they arise. (**See Covid caveat above for potential exceptions to 2023 events) Members share housing in groups of 1-4 members per location. NYS Parks Corps members serve under the direction of regional Parks staff to assist in accomplishing the mission of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic, and cultural resources.

This position is located at New York’s Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, with no housing provided. This position is for local candidates only.